Southern Fried Chicken plans investment in India


UK-based fast-food chain Southern Fried Chicken is entering India with an investment of Rs.100-crore in the first two years through master franchises across 20 markets.

This will be its first foray in Asia, and here it will also compete against chains such as KFC and Nando’s. In 2010, Southern Fried Chicken had launched an outlet in South India to test the Indian market and plans to launch about 200 outlets pan India. Now again they take a second shot in India after relaxation of FDI rules for single-brand retail.

Chairman of Southern Fried Chicken, Andrew Withers stated that while the market is strong and large in India, there will be more competition compared with the UK. The company will divide India into 20 regions and have master franchises to run the operations with Hyderabad being the first market with the first outlet this September. The company expects to make an investment of Rs.2 crore in each location, and have assigned a total of Rs. 100 crore in the next two years. They will be employing more than 2000 staff members in India.

Southern Fried Chicken has created its USP by procuring fresh chicken. They may have the same pricing as KFC in UK, but the chicken is not frozen or processed like other competitors. Even in India, the company plans to locally source fresh produce for the restaurants. The chicken has less oil and strong chilly flavours, which will suit the Indian market, Withers added.

Southern Fried Chicken will be competitively priced to KFC in India. The fast-food chain expects to cover South India first before exploring metro markets of Mumbai and Delhi. There are also plans to have locally adapted offerings to cater to regional taste buds.

Withers further commented that there is opportunity in India as the market is still under-served with not too many chicken brands. The UK market has become saturated, and the company wants to show something different in chicken to new markets in Asia like India, and soon will take the restaurants to China as well.

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